The Fall of Man and its Consequences

The following article is an excerpt from "A Book of Bible Study"

by Joseph F. Harwood.


To download the entire book in PDF format, visit our home page at


In Genesis 3, we learn that suffering in all its’ forms entered the world at the time of the fall of man in the Garden of Eden. There was no suffering in the world until the time that Adam and Eve yielded to Satan’s temptation to eat the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, which God had told them not to eat. He had provided many other trees in the garden from which they could eat, but He told them they must not eat the fruit of this one tree, or they would surely die.


At the point in time when Adam and Eve yielded to the devil’s temptation and ate the fruit which God had forbidden them to eat, sin came into the world. With sin came suffering and death, which are the consequences of sin.


Every man born into the world from the time Adam and Eve sinned is born as a slave of sin and in need of a Savior. In Romans 5:12-19, the Apostle Paul taught about the fall of man. He explained that sin came into the world through one man, Adam. And just as that one sin of Adam’s brought death and condemnation to every man, so also through one Man, Jesus Christ, and His one act of righteousness, God’s grace would overflow to many, resulting in justification that brings life.


Satan, or the serpent, would strike the heel of Jesus, but Jesus would crush the head of Satan. This prophecy was made about Jesus in Genesis 3:15, and it was fulfilled in His victory over Satan at Calvary, “and by His scourging we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5).


Everything that Jesus suffered, He suffered as a result of the activity of Satan, and at the same time, everything He suffered came about according to the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God the Father (Acts 2:23). Likewise all of the sufferings that touch our lives as God’s people are the result of the activity of Satan, and at the same time, everything that we suffer comes about according to the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of our sovereign God and Father (Matthew 10:29). 


Satan acts directly to cause suffering such as various physical infirmities, and he also acts indirectly through his temptation of men. If he acts through an unbeliever, then he is acting through those who belong to him, who are his children (John 8:42-47). They are slaves of sin, and they can do nothing else but sin. He also tempts God’s children to sin.


Jesus described Satan as a thief, who comes only to steal, to kill, and to destroy. This is the bad news. However for believers there is Good News: Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil (1 John 3:8), and He did so in order that His blessed people may have life, and have it abundantly (John 10:10). This good news was accomplished for us through the sufferings He endured, according to His Father’s will for His life (John 12:24-26).  


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